The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Nigeria of 12 Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $997 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. Nigeria has requested to buy 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters as well as associated avionics, sensor systems, and spare engines and parts.
According to the press release issued by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) the package offered to Nigeria, valued at $997 million, consists of: 12 AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters, 28 GE 401C T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed, 4 spare), 2,000 APKWS (Advanced Precision Weapons System) laser-guided rockets. Also included are the night vision display (NVCD); a GPS satellite navigation system, but in its commercial version; communications equipment; electronic warfare systems; AN/AVS-9 aviator night vision goggles; and the M197 20 mm tri-tube cannon and ammunition.
“The proposed sale will better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability and build interoperability with the US and other Western partners,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.
It should be remembered that the existence of this document does not imply that the sale has been finalized. Nigeria is also evaluating as options the T-129 ATAK of Turkish Aerospace and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) of the Indian firm HAL.